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Making friends while working or living abroad is an important part of settling into your new home. Having a good social network is likely to result in a more successful move. But how do you go about meeting people in an unfamiliar country?

To give you some inspiration, Allianz Care has brought you these outside-of-the-box ideas on how to meet new people abroad:

Friends of Friends

It may be best to try this before you leave for an assignment. As you are telling family and friends about your plans, ask if they know anyone in your destination city.

If they do, ask to be put in touch with them. While it may or may not work out in the longer term, it can be a good way to meet a friendly face when you first arrive in your new home.


Love abstract art? Jazz music? Slam poetry? Use websites like Eventbrite to find arts, community or charity events happening in your city. The more niche the event, the more likely it is that you can speak to others on a common topic, which should help break the ice.

Five ways of making friends abroad

Dating Sites

InterNations Expat Insider survey 2017 showed that more than half of all respondents in relationships were involved with someone from another country. If you are single, consider checking out the local dating scene in your new country.

Dating apps are an obvious starting point, but if that feels too intense try attending singles events in your area. There’s no guarantee that you’ll meet the love of your life, but you could make some good friends along the way.


If you do find yourself with some time on your hands, consider helping others by volunteering in an area of interest. It could be related to your job or a hobby.

Volunteering is a great way to meet people from the local community. It may also be worth checking if your employer has a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme that you can take part in.


Last but by no means least, if you practice a religion, joining a local church, synagogue, mosque or temple may be a great way to meet local people of the same faith as well as making friends. Many religions have social events linked to practice including shared meals or celebrating events together.

Five ways of making friends abroad

Making friends abroad is one way of looking after your mental health while you are abroad. Building a local support network should help to make living abroad a fantastic experience both in terms of your career and personal life.

Don’t neglect your physical health when you make a move overseas, protect yourself and get the best treatment possible in the event of an accident with comprehensive international expat health insurance from Allianz Care. 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post provided by Allianz Care. However, I only endorse products and services I believe will provide value to my readers.

Lisa Bull
Written by Lisa Bull

Lisa Bull, founder of Dreaming of Down Under, has been living in Australia as a British expat since 2015. After travelling to every state and territory in Australia and living in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, Lisa knows from first-hand experience the best destinations to visit in Australia and the best budget travel tips. Her guides on this blog have been read by over 700k readers and helped thousands of people achieve their dream of living in or travelling Australia.